06Jun

Tech hiring is up. Tech job postings are on the upswing. And at 2.4% tech unemployment is well below the national average.

This trifecta of demand and availability is making tech hiring ever more challenging as employers begin to fill positions they’ve left vacant during the last year.

“Even though tech employment held up reasonably well during the turbulence of the past 12 months, many employers were in a wait-and-see hiring mode,” said Tim Herbert, EVP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “With the three recent months of tech employment gains we’re likely seeing that pent-up demand translate to new hires.”

According to an analysis by the trade group CompTIA, IT occupations nationwide expanded by 178,000 jobs in February, while job postings for open IT positions surpassed 277,000, a 12-month high.

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On a month-over-month basis, the biggest increases in IT job postings were in California, Illinois, Washington, North Carolina and Texas. The metro areas with the biggest gains were Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and San Jose.

Positions for software and application developers accounted for the largest share of the openings (88,600) followed by systems engineers and architects (22,700), IT support specialists (22,000), web developers (18,000) and IT project managers (17,400).

Like nearly every other part of the economy, tech jobs took a hit during the height of the pandemic as employers canceled or postponed projects and expansion. Unemployment among tech professionals at one point in the last year approached 5%, a high not seen since the Great Recession in 2010. Since hitting that high in June, unemployment declined sharply to February’s 2.4%. It is expected to be even lower when the March report comes out next month.

If you’re having trouble filling tech jobs, give us a call here at Green Key Resources. Our recruiters know where to find the best tech talent and can help you fill those hard-to-fill jobs quickly. Call us at (212) 683-1988.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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Internet Slow? It’s Probably You

If your internet connection seems slow, don’t blame the internet. It’s you. Or to put it more precisely, it’s the equipment in your house, or the service plan you have or the way your home connects to the broader internet network. Or all three.

Millions of people are teleconferencing for work or school. We’re streaming more movies and You Tube videos than ever before; so many that in Europe Netflix, Google, Disney and Amazon have throttled back their picture quality to conserve bandwidth.

Zoom, perhaps the most widely used video conferencing service, has seen its usage – excuse the expression – zoom. At the end of 2019, the company had 10 million daily users. At the end of March it had 200 million, which has exposed flaws, bugs and security issues.

Now not mostly just for business meetings, schools have embraced Zoom to hold online classes. Families and friends are logging on to socialize and to play games, many now being designed specifically for the service.

New York Times analysis suggests that with nearly all sporting events cancelled – marble racing an exception – gaming sites are seeing double digit increases. Gaming of all kinds across all platforms soared by 75% as of March 19, according to Statista.

All this gaming and video usage is placing a strain on the internet. While the broader network is handling the load, most local connections were not built to handle the demand. Where business centers have typically been upgraded with high speed, high bandwidth fiber, residential areas are most often connected over cable.

Cable was designed to deliver video, not upload it, so video conferencing from home – as most of us are now doing – is fraught with dropped connections and jerky video. This gets worse as more and more users are online at the same time.

In areas that have been upgraded, slowdowns are more likely to be the result of your equipment or how much bandwidth you’re paying for. Before everyone was home and online at the same time, basic internet service and equipment may have only rarely caused slowdowns. Older WiFi equipment was not designed to handle multiple simultaneous video or gaming users.

“Still, despite these niggles, the internet seems to be doing just fine,” says the MIT Technology Review . “Health checks from RIPE and Ookla, two organizations that monitor connection speeds around the world, show minor slowdowns but little change overall.”

“In fact,” notes the article, “Far from bringing networks to their knees, covid-19 is driving the most rapid expansion in years.”

The article explains that streaming and gaming services are adding capacity, while last mile providers like Comcast and AT&T are experimenting with changes to their plans and are looking at how to upgrade the cables and wires that bring internet service into our homes. Comcast lifted data caps for two months.

“Some of these measures may be undone when the crisis is over, but others will outlive it. Once cut, red tape is hard to stick back together.”

Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

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Lifestyle Change Is Luring Workers Out of Tech Centers

In seven years, Deepinder Singh, founder of Minnesota startup 75F, never got a resume from someone working at a large tech company. He didn’t even bother to recruit in Silicon Valley.

But since May, he’s received more than a dozen from tech professionals on both coasts.

“The remote-work era ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic is upending not only where tech workers want to live and how much money they can make, but also what kinds of opportunities they are willing to consider,” says The Wall Street Journal.

We noted in a blog post in September that a significant percentage of tech talent living in large tech centers were giving thought to relocating to less expensive areas. A survey found large numbers, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, were “concerned” or “very concerned” about losing their job.

The Journal says these workers are now acting on those relocation thoughts. The article quotes Guy Berger, principal economist at LinkedIn, saying, “These companies (outside tech centers) are on a hiring spree.” The pandemic “has really given entrepreneurship and these small enterprises a kick in the butt to really ramp up.”

This presents a unique opportunity for smaller companies and those businesses and organizations in need of tech talent to recruit top people. Almost daily Green Key recruiters hear from skilled, experienced tech professionals looking to move to less expensive areas. They are willing to trade salary for a better lifestyle.

Podium, an 800-person Utah startup, hired six senior-level people from San Francisco in the last six months, while receiving some 600 applications from the Bay Area, two to three times the typical number.

Notes the Journal, “While it isn’t uncommon for startups to lure employees away from larger companies through the potential for growth and wealth, those startups typically haven’t been hundreds of miles away.”

And it’s not just IT professionals looking to make a move. One candidate who opted to move from Silicon Valley to a job with a Lexington, Ky. startup that builds indoor farms took a $100,000 salary cut.

“It might appear that my net pay is less, but my buying power and quality of life is unparalleled,” said Marcella Butler, the new chief people officer at AppHarvest. “There is a richness to life [here] that I did not find there.”

If you’re ready to fill those open tech jobs — or hire other top pros like Marcella Butler — give us a call here at Green Key Resources – 212.683.1988.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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